‘Concern has been aroused’ at Barcelona over two Chelsea players that new Camp Nou boss Xavi has his eye on, according to a report.
Barcelona are in need of attacking reinforcements in January and Raheem Sterling is believed to be on Xavi’s wanted list. Man City though are understood to be refusing to play ball with Barca over the England man’s availability and as such Barca are looking for alternatives.
Two of those other options are believed to be Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. In fact Sport, via Sport Witness, state the LaLiga side are “already very clear the most viable option goes through Chelsea”.
ESPN claimed last week that Xavi had placed the Blues pair on his list of targets. And now the Spanish outlet report “new contacts” between the two clubs have been made.
However, there was some slight concern when both players started in the recent draw with Manchester United.
Ziyech, 28, had only made two Premier League starts before getting the nod against United. While Werner, 25, led the line for the first time in six weeks.
The fact that Thomas Tuchel started both players has “aroused some concern” in Spain. But Chelsea are “totally open” to talks about the pair departing, as long as the financial conditions are “acceptable”.
Whether Tuchel was putting the pair in the shop window and giving them a final chance to stake a claim remains unclear. But Chelsea are even ready to offer the pair on a loan deal.
Ziyech is important, says Chelsea boss
Marina Granovskaia is understood to be ready to pay part of the pair’s wages if Barca pursue a loan deal with the option to make it permanent next summer.
Publicly Tuchel said recently that Ziyech remains a vital part of his plans. The Chelsea boss told the Evening Standard: “At the moment here in Cobham there are no thoughts about his future.
“There are no thoughts about a potential change, swap deal or whatever in the winter. I have talked to nobody about that here in Cobham.
“Hakim was not in my office expressing a wish like this so right now. He is a full member of the squad.
“And he is an important guy, a very talented guy, a very ambitious guy, and he’s a full part of our squad. He was last season, he is this season and we expect the very best of him all the time.”